How a MOOC can effectively facilitate student transitions to an online distance postgraduate programme

Kubincova, E., Dale, V. H.M. and Kerr, J. (2018) How a MOOC can effectively facilitate student transitions to an online distance postgraduate programme. Research in Learning Technology, 26, 2055. (doi: 10.25304/rlt.v26.2055)

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Abstract

A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) was developed to help promote awareness of, and support student transitions into, a fully online distance, credit-bearing postgraduate certificate (PGCert). A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews was undertaken with participants on the PGCert to investigate learner experiences of both the MOOC and PGCert, and to establish the extent to which the MOOC supported learners’ transitions into the PGCert in terms of their (1) foundation knowledge, (2) study skills, (3) digital literacies, (4) readiness for self-directed learning, and to determine whether additional efforts could have been directed to more effectively support student transitions. Findings revealed that the MOOC informed participants’ decision to undertake the fully online PGCert, and that this was due to the effective learning design and a strong teacher presence throughout. The participants already possessed some background knowledge and a number of essential learning skills (though not uniformly), questioning assumptions around MOOCs as an aid to widening participation in higher education; however, the MOOC helped to enhance and unify these. Not surprisingly, there were some challenges encountered on entering online postgraduate study that the MOOC design could not anticipate or solve; therefore, we recommend that online learners are appropriately supported throughout their studies. This work has implications in terms of how MOOCs may help facilitate student transitions into other fully online, credit-bearing programmes of study.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:MOOCS, online learning, student transitions, teaching presence, learning design.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kubincova, Ms Eva and Dale, Dr Vicki and Kerr, Mr John
Authors: Kubincova, E., Dale, V. H.M., and Kerr, J.
Subjects:L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
College/School:College of Social Sciences
University Services > Learning and Teaching Services Division
Journal Name:Research in Learning Technology
Publisher:Association for Learning Technology
ISSN:2156-7077
ISSN (Online):2156-7077
Published Online:20 September 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 E. Kubincova et al.
First Published:First published in Research in Learning Technology 26: 2055
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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